How to get promoted in academia?

The first book in my "Crafting your career in academia" series

Over the years, I have given a lot of advice on climbing the academic career ladder. This is not surprising as promotion is one of the most significant milestones in our academic careers. I therefore decided to collate all this information into a short, accessible guide, published in the series Crafting your career in academia.

Books in this series are reasonably priced to make them accessible for individual academics, as well as universities who would like to bulk-buy books for their staff members. Reviews for this book can be found here. Further details can be found below.

This book should be useful for academics at any level in any university system. Its focus, however, is on internal promotion to Associate or full Professor in academic systems that expect good performance in research, teaching, and leadership. Academics will also find the book helpful for other purposes such as Fellowship or Award nominations.

Publication details

Harzing, A.W. (2022) Writing effective promotion applications: Crafting your career in academia, Published by Tarma Software Research Ltd, London, United Kingdom

  • Black & white paperback, 115pp. ISBN 978-1-7396097-3-3.
  • Kindle edition, 125pp. ISBN 978-17396097-1-9.

Book description

Want to progress in academia? Read this book for practical, step-by-step guidance on writing effective promotion applications, leaving you better prepared to climb the academic career ladder. You will learn how to evidence that your research, teaching, and leadership has made a real difference and demonstrates how to embed this evidence in an overall career narrative. I provide insights into how your promotion panel evaluates your application, explain why external promotion is easier to achieve than internal promotion, but also outline the advantages of internal promotion.


Promotion through the various academic ranks can be a slow, frustrating, and opaque process and there are few things in academic life which elicit such strong emotions. At the same time, for many academics achieving promotion to full or associate professor is one of the most important milestones of their academic careers. This is not surprising. Academic salaries are low when compared to other professions that require the same length of training and working hours. Moreover, rejection is a constant feature of academic lives. Hence, promotion is one of the few big positive reinforcements we get in our academic careers.

Even so, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of guidance for academics going up for promotion. As a result, many promotion applications are not as effective as they could be. In this short book, I have documented the lessons I have learned about the process, both from a personal and from an institutional perspective, and have provided detailed recommendations for successful promotion applications. I hope this will help you to better understand this highly contested topic and provide you with the tools to be successful in your own promotion application. I would love to hear from you if you feel this book has helped you.

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All books in this series

Academic promotion series

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